In our ever growing technology based society it is no secret that electricity is a highly prized and necessary commodity. Every night when we charge our smartphones or stream Netflix we aren’t trying to calculate how many kilowatt hours that are being consumed because to be honest, who cares? I need to watch the next episode of Stranger Things. But the truth is when we’re using electricity we are also burning coal, and a lot of it.
The generated pollution is sent straight into the atmosphere thus damaging the delicate coat around our home that is shielding us from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition, coal combustion releases a number of harmful gases that are linked to the production of acid rain as well as lung damage and heart disease in humans. Chicago, being one of the most populated areas in the United States naturally also consumes some of the most electricity. Wind turbines provide a sustainable solution to an ever growing need.
Wind turbines are reported to have the capacity to power New York entirely. Paul Sclavounos, MIT’s professor of mechanical engineering, reports that it would take around 4000 five-megawatt turbines to meet the city’s annual needs. With this being said, turbines could certainly take on the job of Chicago, a smaller city.
The benefits are not only environmental. The production of turbines is primarily on U.S. soil. With a higher demand for turbines, this would mean a higher demand for jobs. Creating opportunities for those who may lose their jobs in the coal industry. Farmers may also receive compensation for allowing turbines to be put on their farmland, approximately 2,000- 3,000 per turbine. The extra revenue would be very beneficial to those who lived on the land.
Turbines provide the framework for a sustainable future both environmentally and economically. They are a clean alternative that will be detrimental to the health of today’s population, and generations to come.